Old favorites and new twists at Philadelphia Science Festival

Science lovers, rejoice. The Philadelphia Science Festival (PSF) is making a return on Friday, April 22, through Saturday, April 30, and Penn, a sponsor and core collaborator of the event, will be well represented in the festivities.

This year marks the sixth annual PSF and includes more than 90 events citywide.

Many of the programs are aimed at appealing to the young and young at heart. At the Discovery Days events, for example, held on Saturday, April 23, in several locations around the city, including nearby Clark Park, hands-on activities will be the order of the day, giving attendees the opportunity to dance with a robot, launch a robot, and learn about the brain.

On April 24’s Explorer Sunday, Penn Museum guests will be treated to a “Conservation Challenge” in the Artifact Lab, where they will get to try out preservation techniques and watch conservators work to restore real Egyptian mummies.

Neighborhood Science events, hosted by Free Library of Philadelphia branches, are targeted at the afterschool crowd, with demonstrations, animal encounters, and chances for kids to perform experiments of their own.

The Festival also has plenty of evening experiences for adults to get their science fix. Morris Arboretum botanist Cynthia Skema is speaking at two events to give an insider’s look at the botanicals inside your favorite cocktails and beers. At the “Grow a Pint” event, attendees can also sample a beer brewed especially for the PSF, Yards Brewing Company’s Orang’n of Species.

Dan Beiting and Tracy Bale of the School of Veterinary Medicine and Gary Wu of the Perelman School of Medicine will present on Thursday, April 28, at the Ruba Club on “Gross Anatomy: The Human Microbiome” about the microscopic ecosystem that lives within and on our bodies. 

Penn science and technology will be on display throughout the week at many other events, including the Fishtown Science Crawl, “Murder at the Mutter,” “Medicine 1776,” “Close Up and Far Away,” “What it Means to be Human,” and “Science 2066.”

In a twist this year, the Carnival will be held at the tail end of the festival at a new location: the Grand Plaza at Penn’s Landing. Visitors will find many groups from Penn among the presenters, including representatives from the Science Outreach Initiative, Penn Vet, the Department of Physics & Astronomy in the School of Arts & Sciences, Penn Electric Racing, the Penn Center for Brain Injury and Repair, and a graduate student coalition sharing auditory illusions.

Many events are free and open to the public, but some have fees and require pre-registration. To save 10 percent on paid events, enter the code UPENN10 at check out.

View the full PSF lineup and reserve tickets at the Philadelphia Science Festival website.

Philadelphia Science Festival